Reports December 7, 2022

Election Deniers in Attorney General Races

Attorneys general have key roles and responsibilities in several aspects of election administration, election law enforcement, and voting procedures.
Issue Areas
Last updated: December 7, 2022


A project of States United Action

While we think about elections as big national events, they’re run by the states. Your state’s attorney general is one of just a few statewide officials in charge of making sure elections are free, fair, and secure—so it really matters that they are committed to defending the will of the voters, no matter the political outcome. 

Along with your governor and secretary of state, your attorney general sets the rules, runs the elections, supervises the counting of ballots, certifies the results, and protects those results.

The Role of State Attorneys General in Election Administration

Attorneys general have key roles and responsibilities in several aspects of election administration, election law enforcement, and voting procedures, including: 

  • The attorney general defends state voting laws and election results in court. 
  • The attorney general is often the state’s chief law enforcement officer and can take legal action to prevent or address voter intimidation or election misconduct. 
  • The attorney general can be involved in the ballot initiative process to ensure voters receive nonpartisan, accurate information about ballot measures. 

Examples of pro-democracy actions an attorney general can take: defend the state’s official election results and pro-democracy voting procedures from legal challenges; defend the privacy of voters’ personal information from disclosure in election investigations; defend voters from intimidation and suppressive conduct; investigate and prosecute illegal attempts to suppress the vote; and issue robust guidance to local law enforcement detailing their role in safeguarding free, fair, and secure elections. 

Examples of anti-democracy actions an attorney general can take: pursue unsubstantiated lawsuits seeking to invalidate other states’ official election results; fail to defend the state’s pro-democracy voting laws and procedures from legal challenges; and fail to work in good faith with other state constitutional officers to approve election guidance materials. 

Click for an overview of the role of governors and secretaries of state in election administration. For more detailed information on statewide election administration roles and responsibilities, visit our “Guide to Statewide Offices and Election Power.” 

The Election Denier threat

In 2022, 30 states and the District of Columbia had contests for attorney general. Out of the 11 Election Deniers that made it to the general election, six won their races for attorney general. Ten of the 11 Election Denier candidates ran on a major party’s ticket. 

  • Election Deniers ran in more than half (16 of 31) of primaries for attorney general. Election Deniers running on a major party ticket won more than half (69% or 11/16) of their primary races for attorney general.  
  • Of 22 Election Denier candidates who ran for attorney general in 2022, just 6 won. That’s a 72.72 (16/22)% loss rate.  

For more information on the Election Deniers who won races for attorney general across the country, click here to view our dashboard.